by Bridget Read
The March for Our Lives will take place on March 24 in cities around the world, scarcely a month after the attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School by gunman Nikolas Cruz in Parkland, Florida, left 17 people dead. Almost immediately after the incident, the teenage survivors of the tragedy mobilized, first by striking out at detractors on social media and calling for action from politicians. They quickly emerged as leaders of a new set of voices in the movement to change America’s gun laws, representing those who had spent their entire young lives under the shadow of their country’s mass shooting problem and have had enough.
The Parkland teens didn’t stop there—they faced down their representatives at the Florida State House and NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch in a CNN town hall meeting. The most moving part of their activism might be their solidarity with young people and gun violence survivors around the country, including the victims of gang violence, police brutality, and domestic violence. One month after the shooting, thousands of students across the U.S. participated in a National School Walkout to honor the Parkland victims and demand stricter gun control. Participants left their classrooms to stand outside for 17 minutes (for the 17 lives lost in the shooting), and many stood in front of the United States Capitol “to demand Congress pass legislation to keep us safe from gun violence at our schools, on our streets, and in our homes and places of worship.”
With the buildup from these preceding events—which have galvanized public participation in a way almost unprecedented since the Women’s March of January 2017—the March for Our Lives will further raise national attention on gun control issues and, according to the website, “demand that their lives and safety become a priority, and that we end gun violence in our schools and communities.” Find everything you need to know about the March for Our Lives, and how to participate, below:
Where and when is the March for Our Lives?
Marches are taking place in hundreds of cities around the world, but the main March for Our Lives will occur on March 24 in Washington, D.C., at noon. Marchers are meeting at Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest and 12th Street Northwest, walking down Pennsylvania Avenue to 3rd Street Northwest. More information and a map can be found here.
In Washington, none of the featured speakers at the rally will be over 18. According to The Washington Post, a main stage near Pennsylvania Avenue and Third Street Northwest will feature speeches from school shooting victims, D.C. students, and activists. Musical performances (by artists including Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Common, Miley Cyrus, and Demi Lovato) will be broadcast on 20 jumbotrons along Pennsylvania Avenue. Lin Manuel-Miranda and Ben Platt are also expected to attend.
In the days before the DC march, Parkland student survivors met with students at local Thurgood Marshall Academy in Southeast Washington to bridge the gap between their experiences with gun violence and express solidarity. Parkland students Alfonso Calderon, David Hogg, Cameron Kasky and Alex Wind took turns with Marshall students at the rally. “We’ve seen again and again the media focus on school shootings and oftentimes be biased toward white-privileged students,” Hogg said. “Many of these communities are disproportionately affected by gun violence, but they don’t get the same media attention that we do.”
What should I bring with me?
Comfortable shoes and loose fitting light layers, and wearable, foldable, and rollable banners and signs (extra points for creativity!). Items that are not allowed: aerosols, non service/guide animals, backpacks and bags bigger than 18" by 13" by 7", bicycles, balloons, coolers, drones, explosives, firearms, glass, thermal or metal containers, laser pointers, mace, pepper spray, packages, selfie sticks, structures, supports for signs and placards, toy guns, explosives, or weapons of any kind.
Who is leading the March for Our Lives?
The March for Our Lives is “for kids and by kids,” according to the organization’s website. Parkland teens who have emerged as frequent voices on social media include Emma González, Cameron Kasky, Delaney Tarr, Sarah Chadwick, and many, many more.
Who is partnering with the March for Our Lives?
Organizers have received $500,000 donations from George and Amal Clooney, Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw, studio chief Jeffrey Katzenberg, Gucci, and Oprah Winfrey. Sibling marches are being coordinated with support from Everytown for Gun Safety and Giffords Courage to Fight Gun Violence.
In addition to George and Amal Clooney, singers Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato will be marching alongside student organizers in Washington. On Friday night, a benefit concert called Stay Amped will take place, headlined by Fall Out Boy. G-Eazy, singer Bebe Rexha and Lizzo will join, with proceedings going to Everytown for Gun Safety and Giffords Courage.
Where can I grab something to eat while in D.C.?
An initiative called #FoodForOurLives is offering free or discounted meals at restaurants like José Andres' Think Food Lab, Sweetgreen, Shake Shack, The Pig, The Bird, Beefsteak, Cava, Rasa, and Taco Bamba (among others) on Saturday to any students under the age of 18 with a valid ID through 5 p.m.
How can I find the March for Our Lives in my city?
There are 837 sibling events being held in cities around the world for the March for Our Lives on March 24, which you can search for here. Marchers are tagging their footage and messages of support for the rally with #NeverAgain.
In New York City, the March for Our Lives with take place at 10:00 a.m. at Central Park West and West 72nd Street in Manhattan.
In Los Angeles, celebrities including Amy Schumer, Yara Shahidi, Connie Britton, Olivia Wilde, and Skai Jackson have committed to speaking at the rally there, along with survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas.
How can I donate to the March for Our Lives?
You can donate here and encourage others to do so between now and Saturday. Funds go to bringing students to the march in D.C., among other initiatives. Donations made via GoFundMe are split between the Broward Education Foundation to support the families of victims and the injured in Parkland and the March for Our Lives Action Fund.
What are other organizations I can support?
You can also support the gun violence prevention measures of the Community Justice Reform Coalition and the National Black and Brown Gun Violence Prevention Consortium by donating here.